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There are traditional and experimental mesothelioma treatment. Traditional treatment is divided into the following types:
The term "modalities" is used for such methods of treatment as radiation and chemotherapy. In case the therapy involves two or more forms of treatment, it is known as multimodality treatment. It is thought that multimodality treatment is the best fighter for the length of the patient's life, though being the most complicated and aggressive one.
Traditional treatment, combining surgery, radiation and chemotherapy has increased the survival rate almost twice recently - up to 18 months on the average so far. But even 18 months is a disastrous period to live even in case the aggressive treatment is applied.
Strong mesothelioma lawyers' lobbying as well as the fight for further mesothelioma victims' rights, have involved more money into research recently. Patients receive new hope with help of new drugs for chemotherapy and other kinds of treatment. The survival rate for many mesothelioma patients has increased up to 4 or even 5 years. It is supposed that the prolongation of the survival rates is about to appear.
In case there is a best treatment or combination of therapies in the particular situation, your doctor will recommend it to you. Such factors as the location of the disease, the stage of the disease, the age of the patient, his or her overall health and preferences course of treatment will influence on the course of treatment.
Such methods of diagnosing mesothelioma as paracentesis and thoracentesis are also believed to be treatment methods due to the fact that fluid from the chest or abdominal cavity is drained during these procedures. This procedure makes shortness of breath easier in case of thoracentesis or thoracoscopy and can generally reduce of swelling and pain.
According to the Chemotherapy, the patient is given drugs by mouth or through intravenous injection, in order to kill the cancerous cells. The only help of traditional drugs is not enough in prolonging the lives of patients with mesothelioma, but that could differ. In 2004, the use of a new medication Alimta, in combination with cisplatin was proved by the FDA. In clinical trials, the Alimta and cisplatin combination was made by a median of three months, to prolong the lives of patients with mesothelioma.
In case of effective mesothelioma treatment, it is acceptable to use more than one drug. The amount of drugs, its quality and the treatment period, may bring on side effects. Historically, doxorubicin was the only widely spread chemotherapy drug., Now there are many new drugs, gemcitabine, cisplatin, carboplatin, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, vinorelbine, paclitaxel and methotrexate, that are preferred and are usually given in combinations.
It is possible to use Radiation as a killer of the cancerous cells, but it's impossible to destroy all the cancerous cells and not to harm to the healthy cells. There are many side effects shown after the radiation therapy, which are: fatigue, difficult swallowing, shortness of breath, digestive problems, hair loss, skin irritation and stiffness. In radiation therapy the use of high-energy x-rays make to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors.
The external radiation comes from outside the body, whereas the source of internal or implant radiation is radioactive materials placed directly in the tumor or near the cancerous cells via thin plastic tubes. The majority of possible side effects from radiation, vanish in a short period of time. It is hard to irradiate the tissue of the tumor successfully not injuring nearby organs like the lungs, heart, and liver in pleural mesothelioma cases. Nevertheless, radiation therapy may effectively ease the pain in definite cases.
Mesothelioma, like the majority of cancers is treated most successfully in its first stages, though only the advanced stages may uncover the diagnosis. Surgery is often recommended for treating mesothelioma in case it is found in its early stages, but it doesn't happen often. Practically, only 20-30% of mesothelioma patients can be subjected to surgery.
Mesothelioma may be treated with various types of surgeries and the choice depends on the type and the stage of the disease. The complete removal of large tumor is difficult in mesothelioma cases, that is why the best result of treatment is usually found in combination of surgery and some other cancer treatments.
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